Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Tent for International Touring: Exped Orion II

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Tent for International Touring: Exped Orion II

Old 10-30-16, 08:46 PM
  #1  
mdilthey
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
mdilthey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,923

Bikes: Nature Boy 853 Disc, Pugsley SS

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 251 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Tent for International Touring: Exped Orion II

I put hours of research into our tent choice for our bikepacking trip in Iceland this past year. I ended up choosing the Exped Orion II, and signed on with Exped as a gear tester for the summer to see if I could find the breaking point.

It's a good tent, and we felt very fortunate to have it on several nights when conditions were worst. The design has been almost unchanged for 19 years, so I was pretty confident it was the right tool for the job.

We met about ten other bike tourists who ended their trips early, opted to rent cars, or stayed in hotels and hostels. Kelley and I spent all 30 nights of the trip in our tent, and we were very comfortable the entire time. I credit that to the Orion II. We even dried clothes inside of it when it rained. It was the perfect shelter for a bad-weather location like Iceland.

If you're thinking of traveling the world for a few months, this is definitely a tent I would check out. Here's my six-month review with lots of pictures:

Six Month Review: the Exped Orion II 4-season Tent

mdilthey is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 01:20 AM
  #2  
gerryl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 455
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 99 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 16 Posts
A four season tent is good if you actually plan to use it in the winter where there is a risk of heavy snow, otherwise you're carrying around extra weight for absolutely no reason what so ever. A quick check on line tells me it's a $600+ tent and 3.7kg, that's a lot of money and weight. There are a lot choices out there, that are cheaper and lighter. If I was looking for a winter tent, I might consider it, however for non winter camping - no.

Last edited by gerryl; 10-31-16 at 01:37 AM.
gerryl is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 02:18 AM
  #3  
elcruxio
Senior Member
 
elcruxio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Turku, Finland, Europe
Posts: 1,996

Bikes: 2011 Specialized crux comp, 2013 Specialized Rockhopper Pro

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 437 Post(s)
Liked 53 Times in 41 Posts
Originally Posted by gerryl View Post
A four season tent is good if you actually plan to use it in the winter where there is a risk of heavy snow, otherwise you're carrying around extra weight for absolutely no reason what so ever. A quick check on line tells me it's a $600+ tent and 3.7kg, that's a lot of money and weight. There are a lot choices out there, that are cheaper and lighter. If I was looking for a winter tent, I might consider it, however for non winter camping - no.
Well that actually depends a lot. Usually four season tents have better ventilation than their 3 season counterparts which is very useful in all conditions.

I do agree though that it's heavy and expensive for what it is.
Our current tent (Hannah Covert S Al) is a 3 season tent, seems to have better ventilation, is lighter, is a 3 person tent, and cost us 200 euros which is probably about 170 dollars or so.
It has so far survived several outings and looks like new with no noticeable wear anywhere. It shrugged off an alpine storm of the worst kind. It's actually pretty hard to describe how bad it really was but I suspect it was right up there with some of the worse hurricanes and typhoons. The difference is that hurricanes last for days while this was roughly 30 minutes. You could not walk in the wind as it would blow you over, the waterfall flooded all the houses in the village we were staying in and the sewers were gushing up water and there was also hail the size of ping pong balls (those things hurt)

Anyways the inside of the tent stayed bone dry even though it was at some point floating and our undersheet flew away from under the tent.
elcruxio is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 03:16 AM
  #4  
PedalingWalrus
Senior Member
 
PedalingWalrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 1,283

Bikes: Corvid Sojourner, Surly Ice Cream Truck, Comotion Divide, Salsa Warbird, Salsa Beargrease, Dandelion Dream Tandem

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 424 Post(s)
Liked 257 Times in 135 Posts
I disagree that a 4 season tent usually has better ventilation than a 3 season tent. I think that a fundamental design difference of a 4 season tent is primarily to be able to withstand snow load, wind load and be warm. This translates in having heavier poles, more poles, usually being freestanding with full fly coverage or being single wall. Single wall does not usually mean better ventilation.
PedalingWalrus is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 03:25 AM
  #5  
PedalingWalrus
Senior Member
 
PedalingWalrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 1,283

Bikes: Corvid Sojourner, Surly Ice Cream Truck, Comotion Divide, Salsa Warbird, Salsa Beargrease, Dandelion Dream Tandem

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 424 Post(s)
Liked 257 Times in 135 Posts
I'm no expert on Iceland but I would primarily choose tent that is dry and able to withstand heavy winds. Seems to me you chose well.
PedalingWalrus is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 04:32 AM
  #6  
elcruxio
Senior Member
 
elcruxio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Turku, Finland, Europe
Posts: 1,996

Bikes: 2011 Specialized crux comp, 2013 Specialized Rockhopper Pro

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 437 Post(s)
Liked 53 Times in 41 Posts
Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
I disagree that a 4 season tent usually has better ventilation than a 3 season tent. I think that a fundamental design difference of a 4 season tent is primarily to be able to withstand snow load, wind load and be warm. This translates in having heavier poles, more poles, usually being freestanding with full fly coverage or being single wall. Single wall does not usually mean better ventilation.
Condensation is one of the absolute biggest worries one can have when traveling in cold weather. Too much moisture trapped inside the tent means all your stuff is going to be wet, nor can you dry stuff in a tent that's turned into an effective glass house.

Your sleeping system is supposed to keep you warm, not the tent. If there isn't a dry heat source to move air inside the tent and thus move moisture out of the tent all of that water is going to stay inside. In that situation it won't matter whether the tent is warm or not, you'll be cold nevertheless.
elcruxio is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 05:24 AM
  #7  
PedalingWalrus
Senior Member
 
PedalingWalrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 1,283

Bikes: Corvid Sojourner, Surly Ice Cream Truck, Comotion Divide, Salsa Warbird, Salsa Beargrease, Dandelion Dream Tandem

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 424 Post(s)
Liked 257 Times in 135 Posts
A tent breathes differently in the winter. That is why single wall tents are working in the winter while they may accumulate too much condensation in other seasons.

A 'warm' tent should not be taken literally but there is a difference in a tent that has a lot of mesh ventilation and is basically drafty - you do not want that in a winter tent.

Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
Condensation is one of the absolute biggest worries one can have when traveling in cold weather. Too much moisture trapped inside the tent means all your stuff is going to be wet, nor can you dry stuff in a tent that's turned into an effective glass house.

Your sleeping system is supposed to keep you warm, not the tent. If there isn't a dry heat source to move air inside the tent and thus move moisture out of the tent all of that water is going to stay inside. In that situation it won't matter whether the tent is warm or not, you'll be cold nevertheless.
PedalingWalrus is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 05:59 AM
  #8  
PedalingWalrus
Senior Member
 
PedalingWalrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 1,283

Bikes: Corvid Sojourner, Surly Ice Cream Truck, Comotion Divide, Salsa Warbird, Salsa Beargrease, Dandelion Dream Tandem

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 424 Post(s)
Liked 257 Times in 135 Posts
A friend of mine is also preparing for Iceland. He is packing HMG Ultramid 2

If I was planning for Iceland I would also consider the fact there is lack of cover when camping. I would probably use my HMG Ultramid 4 and wheeled my bike inside.

If I was going with my wife I would probably stick with the Ultramid 4 choice or strongly consider packing Hilleberg Keron. The vestibule can (in theory) fit two bikes and the second vestibule could be used as an alternate entrance. But the Keron is probably more than triple weight of the HMG Ultramid.

I also have Big Agnes Copper Spur 4. It has been a very dry tent for us but my son is currently using this tent for his adventures.
PedalingWalrus is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 06:21 AM
  #9  
BigAura
 
BigAura's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Chapin, SC
Posts: 3,423

Bikes: all steel stable: surly world troller, paris sport fixed, fuji ss

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 621 Post(s)
Liked 50 Times in 31 Posts
Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
Usually four season tents have better ventilation than their 3 season counterparts which is very useful in all conditions.
Huh? Not from my experience, although it's been a while since I used a 4-season.
BigAura is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 08:26 AM
  #10  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,316 Times in 827 Posts
I liked My Stevenson , NH USA Made , custom colors & several options ..

no separate rain fly, so Sets up quickly, when its windy.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 08:26 AM
  #11  
gerryl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 455
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 99 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 16 Posts
Two people in a tent give off a tremendous amount of heat and moisture ( via breathing ). If your tent isn't well ventilated the inside walls of the tent get covered in frost, sometimes quite a thick layer. If that layer of frost gets disturbed and falls off, you pretty much have a snow storm in your tent. So yes ventilation is very important in a four season tent, as well as being able to withstand a heavy snow fall. Barring heavy snow, I really don't see the point of using this tent or any other four season tent, since there are plenty of good quality well ventilated three season tents that are lighter, less expensive and I suspect just as well made.
gerryl is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 08:34 AM
  #12  
PedalingWalrus
Senior Member
 
PedalingWalrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 1,283

Bikes: Corvid Sojourner, Surly Ice Cream Truck, Comotion Divide, Salsa Warbird, Salsa Beargrease, Dandelion Dream Tandem

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 424 Post(s)
Liked 257 Times in 135 Posts
Stephenson is awesome for quick setup and the dual wall mid tunnel is great to avoid condensation. But...my experience is that you have to get the seam sealing perfect to get it to be dry after a night of heavy rainfall. The seams at the edges of the mid tunnel usually start to drip and if for some unfortunate reason the water starts pooling underneath the tent then it will start seeping in sooner or later.

Stephenson was my goto tent since 1992 until about 2014. I've had 4.

2RD - my favorite

3R

2R

5R Single Wall



Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I liked My Stevenson , NH USA Made , custom colors & several options ..

no separate rain fly, so Sets up quickly, when its windy.

Last edited by PedalingWalrus; 10-31-16 at 09:05 AM.
PedalingWalrus is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 09:59 AM
  #13  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 8,200

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2252 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 517 Times in 424 Posts
I was in Iceland a few weeks before mdilthey. I brought my tent that I thought was the best one for wind without being tooooooo heavy. It was an older hoop style tent, an REI Nitelite that is roughly a decade old. Since I expected some places to be rocky, I also brought the groundsheet for it, but the ground where I camped was usually quite soft so that was unneeded weight. Weight was 2,840 grams for the tent with two poles, 165 grams for the middle pole and 460 grams for the groundsheet. Middle pole is not really needed when there is not much wind, so that is why I have it separate in my records for weight data.

Twice while setting it up, I was a bit nervous that I might bend a pole from the wind, but it went up with no damage. I brought some old Gerry hoop stakes (that have not been sold for decades) for it, with those stakes and some big rocks I never had a problem.

If I went there again, I would be tempted to bring the same tent, but the light color of the fly meant that it was hard to get to sleep in a place where it never gets dark.

I saw a lot if really nice Hillberg tents and a few other really nice tents that were clearly designed with wind in mind.

Regarding the comments on 4 season tents above, for winter you want a tent that has good snow shedding capability, a lot of low slung tents that are good for wind don't have that snow shedding capacity. I grew up in Minnesota where winters could be severe, I can assure you that you really don't want snow collapsing your tent in the middle of the night when you are in it.

Another aspect that I liked for Iceland, a nice high roomy vestibule is nice if you want to do any cooking while in the tent, which my tent had. There were a few times that I decided that I either cook out of the wind in the vestibule or do not cook at all. But that is not always the safest thing to do so you need to know your equipment and your stove really well for that. This was the first time I ever cooked in a tent vestibule and I do not know if I will do it again, but it was something that I was happy I did a few times in high winds.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
20IMGP2762.jpg (93.3 KB, 175 views)
File Type: jpg
20IMGP3051.jpg (99.6 KB, 176 views)
File Type: jpg
20IMGP3302.jpg (96.8 KB, 176 views)
File Type: jpg
20IMGP2694.jpg (98.4 KB, 176 views)
File Type: jpg
20IMGP2961.jpg (94.2 KB, 176 views)
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 12:01 PM
  #14  
PedalingWalrus
Senior Member
 
PedalingWalrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 1,283

Bikes: Corvid Sojourner, Surly Ice Cream Truck, Comotion Divide, Salsa Warbird, Salsa Beargrease, Dandelion Dream Tandem

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 424 Post(s)
Liked 257 Times in 135 Posts
I figured I could throw in a vote for a 'teepee tarp' - only 1 pole, cuben fiber - no sagging, all seams taped ... completely dry. Could be set up with a floor or without. Will fit you AND your bicycle. 1.3 lbs without pole. 2lbs with a pole.
PedalingWalrus is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 01:28 PM
  #15  
arctos
40 yrs bike touring
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Santa Barbara,CA.
Posts: 1,020

Bikes: Bruce Gordon Ti Rock N Road [1989], Fat Chance Mountain Tandem [1988], Velo Orange Neutrino (2020)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Long ago I researched 4 season tents as Max did for some more demanding trips I had planned. I chose the Stephenson's Warmlite 2R tent.
It was light and compact at 3# 12 oz. Easy to set up with only 3 stakes. There was no separate rainfly to install. The aluminized material reflected some heat back into the tent for warmth and reflected outside heat away while providing a darkened sleeping space under the Midnight sun. Good ventilation came from high and low vents plus side window awnings. And the tunnel design handled high winds on exposed campsites.
The price was high 25 years ago. But I remembered what my grandfather always said- buy good tools for the job and take care of them. The price will be cheap over time. The cost has been $20 per year. And spread over many trips per year. So the daily cost has been less than a dollar a day for excellent shelter. The same tent today costs only a little more and weighs much less.
Another plus is supporting a tiny family cottage industry business in the US instead of a large corporation selling high priced items made offshore at low wages for high profit.
arctos is offline  
Old 10-31-16, 03:56 PM
  #16  
mdilthey
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
mdilthey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,923

Bikes: Nature Boy 853 Disc, Pugsley SS

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 251 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
We saw a lot of Hillebergs in Iceland, as well. I've got a little experience with Hilleberg, and I love what I have seen in person. Definitely solid kit.

The Exoskeleton tent design is really popular in Europe for a reason- the wind resistance is just fantastic, especially with flat-sewn pole sleeves for aerodynamics.

The weakest tents, and the most tent failures that we witnessed happened to locals. They have 4WD vehicles really dialed in, but perhaps the local tent culture is not a focus over there.
mdilthey is offline  
Old 11-02-16, 08:48 AM
  #17  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 11,522
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2066 Post(s)
Liked 492 Times in 417 Posts
it certainly seems that this tent was the right choice for the environment/weather/temps, and has been noted, if you are comfortable in a given tent and do not have to spend 1, 2 or X days paying for indoor accommodation, you're going to have saved X dollars that even a more expensive tent cost you compared to a diff tent.

I would say that over the last 10 years or so, there are a lot of really good tent designs out there that work very well at reasonable prices.
We got a heavier MSR 3 person Elixir 3 a few summers ago just to have more room. It's a 3 person, 3 season tent (which translates in a comfortable roomy 2 person tent as per usual) at about the same weight as this tent, 3.1 kg , a bit over 6 1/2 lbs, but at $295 Canadian, it's a real bargain and has good details that work well (comes with the footprint included).
Compared to the lighter tents with much more mesh, it's less draughty in cooler weather because of the higher opaque side parts, but in hot weather the vents in the fly at either end do a pretty darn good job for airflow so not so hot, as well as controlling condensation very well.

always fun to read about tents in any case.
djb is offline  
Old 11-02-16, 11:52 AM
  #18  
berner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bristol, R. I.
Posts: 4,338

Bikes: Specialized Secteur, old Peugeot

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 658 Post(s)
Liked 487 Times in 294 Posts
I have an Exped also that is now about 10 years old. It is very well made but the principal characteristics of hoop type tents, whoever the manufactures might be, is four season stability for winter camping especially in exposed locations, large volume and vestibule for all that winter gear, and relatively light weight at 6 1/2 pounds.
berner is offline  
Old 11-06-16, 09:30 PM
  #19  
biketocamp
Banned.
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: New York
Posts: 255

Bikes: FM-296 Road Bike, Surly LHT, Superb Sprint

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 22 Times in 9 Posts
Dig tent talk. Hilleberg Akto user 3 years now. Used it East to West U.S. in 2014 and on the Kokopelli. Weighs in at 3lbs 8oz. I pack it with my jacket rolled up in my compression sack and bungie it to my handlebars. The tent poles I store in my frame back. Light weight setup and east to steer. Check out my review on it here on my channel...
biketocamp is offline  
Old 11-07-16, 02:18 AM
  #20  
PedalingWalrus
Senior Member
 
PedalingWalrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 1,283

Bikes: Corvid Sojourner, Surly Ice Cream Truck, Comotion Divide, Salsa Warbird, Salsa Beargrease, Dandelion Dream Tandem

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 424 Post(s)
Liked 257 Times in 135 Posts
Great looking tent.

Thumbs up 🙂


Originally Posted by biketocamp View Post
Dig tent talk. Hilleberg Akto user 3 years now. Used it East to West U.S. in 2014 and on the Kokopelli. Weighs in at 3lbs 8oz. I pack it with my jacket rolled up in my compression sack and bungie it to my handlebars. The tent poles I store in my frame back. Light weight setup and east to steer. Check out my review on it here on my channel...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEsKVgqVi1k
PedalingWalrus is offline  
Old 11-13-16, 12:19 PM
  #21  
biketocamp
Banned.
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: New York
Posts: 255

Bikes: FM-296 Road Bike, Surly LHT, Superb Sprint

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 22 Times in 9 Posts
Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
Great looking tent.

Thumbs up 🙂
Thank you! And for checking it out. This tent is ultimate for me. It does everything. In the summer I leave my sleeping bag at home and use this with my Neo XLite for an ultra light weight setup and it's perfect. At higher altitudes it may not be so great without a sleeping system. Know before you go of course.

Cheers!
biketocamp is offline  
Old 11-13-16, 12:22 PM
  #22  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 18,458

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 158 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5086 Post(s)
Liked 1,656 Times in 1,090 Posts
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I was in Iceland a few weeks before mdilthey. I brought my tent that I thought was the best one for wind without being tooooooo heavy. It was an older hoop style tent, an REI Nitelite that is roughly a decade old. Since I expected some places to be rocky, I also brought the groundsheet for it, but the ground where I camped was usually quite soft so that was unneeded weight. Weight was 2,840 grams for the tent with two poles, 165 grams for the middle pole and 460 grams for the groundsheet. Middle pole is not really needed when there is not much wind, so that is why I have it separate in my records for weight data.

Twice while setting it up, I was a bit nervous that I might bend a pole from the wind, but it went up with no damage. I brought some old Gerry hoop stakes (that have not been sold for decades) for it, with those stakes and some big rocks I never had a problem.

If I went there again, I would be tempted to bring the same tent, but the light color of the fly meant that it was hard to get to sleep in a place where it never gets dark.

I saw a lot if really nice Hillberg tents and a few other really nice tents that were clearly designed with wind in mind.

Regarding the comments on 4 season tents above, for winter you want a tent that has good snow shedding capability, a lot of low slung tents that are good for wind don't have that snow shedding capacity. I grew up in Minnesota where winters could be severe, I can assure you that you really don't want snow collapsing your tent in the middle of the night when you are in it.

Another aspect that I liked for Iceland, a nice high roomy vestibule is nice if you want to do any cooking while in the tent, which my tent had. There were a few times that I decided that I either cook out of the wind in the vestibule or do not cook at all. But that is not always the safest thing to do so you need to know your equipment and your stove really well for that. This was the first time I ever cooked in a tent vestibule and I do not know if I will do it again, but it was something that I was happy I did a few times in high winds.
Cool pics; Iceland is on my list. But first I need to buy that surly world troller. Actually I'll probably take an old school vintage MTB and turn it into an expedition touring bike; that's a heck of a lot cheaper, .
bikemig is offline  
Old 11-13-16, 12:28 PM
  #23  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 18,458

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 158 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5086 Post(s)
Liked 1,656 Times in 1,090 Posts
Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
I put hours of research into our tent choice for our bikepacking trip in Iceland this past year. I ended up choosing the Exped Orion II, and signed on with Exped as a gear tester for the summer to see if I could find the breaking point.

It's a good tent, and we felt very fortunate to have it on several nights when conditions were worst. The design has been almost unchanged for 19 years, so I was pretty confident it was the right tool for the job.

We met about ten other bike tourists who ended their trips early, opted to rent cars, or stayed in hotels and hostels. Kelley and I spent all 30 nights of the trip in our tent, and we were very comfortable the entire time. I credit that to the Orion II. We even dried clothes inside of it when it rained. It was the perfect shelter for a bad-weather location like Iceland.

If you're thinking of traveling the world for a few months, this is definitely a tent I would check out. Here's my six-month review with lots of pictures:

Six Month Review: the Exped Orion II 4-season Tent

Great review and thanks for posting. Makes sense that you need a heck of a tent for at trip like that.
bikemig is offline  
Old 11-13-16, 02:35 PM
  #24  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 8,200

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2252 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 517 Times in 424 Posts
Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Cool pics; Iceland is on my list. But first I need to buy that surly world troller. Actually I'll probably take an old school vintage MTB and turn it into an expedition touring bike; that's a heck of a lot cheaper, .
Thanks.

The bike in the photos was a Thorn Nomad, not a Surly Troll. When I first saw a Troll, I thought that Surly must have decided to copy the Nomad, they really look similar.

An older steel framed MTB bike would certainly work. But it really is an issue of where you are going. I went into the interior on F35 and later on 550. On those roads, they bluntly tell you not to go there if you do not have a four wheel drive car, see first photo You need a pretty robust bike on those roads. But if you are staying closer to the coast and will mostly be on pavement, a bike that you could use in Iowa could do just as well. The unpaved roads I saw in the coastal areas were a lot like farm area roads in Minnesota, I have driven a car or pickup on thousands of miles on Minnesota farm roads.

I met a couple people near the coast on road bikes with bike packing gear. But I suspect that they stayed off the unpaved roads.

But you would be far from a bike shop, so you want good equipment. I met a Pole that did not have any more spare bolts, he wrapped tape around his rack bolts to make sure they did not loosen and come out and get lost. I gave a 8 speed quick link to a Brit that said he was worried that his chain was getting too short, he had already broken it 4 times. He had a 9 speed system so I told him not to try my 8 speed link unless he was stuck on the side of the road because I did not know if it would work. And I gave a couple spare tube patches to an Italian. The Pole told me that he had helped out a Brit that had the end of a shift outer housing start fraying because of a lack of a good metal ferrule. That really is the wrong place to have a mechanical failure. I apparently threw a rock up with my front wheel into the rear spokes and it bent a spoke when the rock jammed between the frame and spoke, see second photo, but fortunately the spoke and nipple threads were not stripped so I could tighten the spoke and continue. I had spare spokes and nipples, but I did not want to have to deal with pulling off rim tape to replace a spoke and nipple.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
20IMGP3365.jpg (98.5 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg
20IMGP2760.jpg (101.4 KB, 61 views)
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 11-13-16, 10:22 PM
  #25  
mdilthey
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
mdilthey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,923

Bikes: Nature Boy 853 Disc, Pugsley SS

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 251 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Thanks.

The bike in the photos was a Thorn Nomad, not a Surly Troll. When I first saw a Troll, I thought that Surly must have decided to copy the Nomad, they really look similar.

An older steel framed MTB bike would certainly work. But it really is an issue of where you are going. I went into the interior on F35 and later on 550. On those roads, they bluntly tell you not to go there if you do not have a four wheel drive car, see first photo You need a pretty robust bike on those roads. But if you are staying closer to the coast and will mostly be on pavement, a bike that you could use in Iowa could do just as well. The unpaved roads I saw in the coastal areas were a lot like farm area roads in Minnesota, I have driven a car or pickup on thousands of miles on Minnesota farm roads.

I met a couple people near the coast on road bikes with bike packing gear. But I suspect that they stayed off the unpaved roads.

But you would be far from a bike shop, so you want good equipment. I met a Pole that did not have any more spare bolts, he wrapped tape around his rack bolts to make sure they did not loosen and come out and get lost. I gave a 8 speed quick link to a Brit that said he was worried that his chain was getting too short, he had already broken it 4 times. He had a 9 speed system so I told him not to try my 8 speed link unless he was stuck on the side of the road because I did not know if it would work. And I gave a couple spare tube patches to an Italian. The Pole told me that he had helped out a Brit that had the end of a shift outer housing start fraying because of a lack of a good metal ferrule. That really is the wrong place to have a mechanical failure. I apparently threw a rock up with my front wheel into the rear spokes and it bent a spoke when the rock jammed between the frame and spoke, see second photo, but fortunately the spoke and nipple threads were not stripped so I could tighten the spoke and continue. I had spare spokes and nipples, but I did not want to have to deal with pulling off rim tape to replace a spoke and nipple.
This picture speaks a thousand words. We found this on the F-roads, east of Grindavik.



Kelley and I had zero mechanicals in Iceland. We didn't even get a flat tire. I credit a couple of things:

1) Blind, mind-boggling luck.

2) Careful riding when off-road (~40-50% of our route was off-road).

3) Big tires.

Number three was the most significant, I think. It's very hard to break a spoke or rim when you have a 2.4" or 3" tire. Big mountain bike tires are resilient to impact, protect the rim from dents or cracks, and reduce all stresses on the rack bolts, frame joints, bearings, etc. by smoothing out vibration.

I ran my 3" tires at high pressure, around 20PSI. Kelley ran her 2.4" tires at 25-30PSI. Hard enough for smooth rolling on pavement and no chance of a rim strike, but soft enough that the bikes were well-insulated from damage.

It worked for us. We'll do the same thing next tour.
mdilthey is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.